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Literary Mixtape Vol. 2

Side A:

Side B:

October 29, 2023

Hi pals,

Launching any venture is nervewracking. Lit mags especially. Social media channels are a shitshow these days, and anything could get lost to the algorithm. When I hit publish on Volume 1 last Sunday, I did it on a deep breath and a prayer. I wasn't sure how far my little project would go, how many people would care enough to support another lit mag.

I should have known better. Not only did hundreds of folks share the post, mash the like, hit the follow button—but submissions rolled in within the first hour of being live. Humbling doesn't begin to cover it.

Much of that success is a direct result of the enthusiasm and knockout work of the first group of contributors. Aaron, Shirley, Scott, Mallory, Jill, and Caleb were quick to share their stories and shout out the mag, drawing attention from all corners of lit twitter. I keep saying it, and I'll say it forever—thank you so much for choosing to debut with M7.

When I started the mag, I knew this much: we don't write in a vacuum. I don't know a writer who doesn't draw inspiration from other forms of art, who doesn't let that art influence their work in a thousand tiny and intricate ways. Every last thing we breathe into our work aches to echo those influences, to carry the intention forward, to inspire someone else in turn.

I knew that a magazine that celebrated musical influence on writing might be well-received, but I wasn't counting on such an immediate outpouring of enthusiasm and support. I can't thank you enough for giving a fuck about M7. My heart is very full.

I hope you'll find this week's mixtape carries forward that initial hype.

We've got a sprawling, drawling monologue from John Waddy Bullion, who drew on Hank & Audrey Williams' "I Want to Live and Love" with work that bellies up to the bar and bellyaches through those husband-and-wife blues.

Mileva Anastasiadou pitches a new spin on an origin myth by imagining Noah hunkered over a Fastball cassette, planning an escape route and following footsteps of the nameless vagabonds forging "The Way."

There's a whole generation that will know exactly the moment a young Melissa Fite Johnson absorbed love's ache because of some clever sound sequencing on a runaway tv hit with"River" by Joni Mitchell.

The breathless daring of name-dropping Heidi Montag and Lou Reed in the same piece would be unthinkable in theory, but Joshua St. Claire's"I'll Do It" managed to pull it off in under 40 words. Bravo.

Deron Eckert's whiplash poem "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" takes you from passion to pulpit to pulp films in a breathless 300 words. Morrissey goes toe-to-toe with a preacher and wins by technical knockout, as nature intended.

The only ode more gorgeous than Jeff Buckley's "Lover, You Should've Come Over" is Adrian Dallas Frandle's answer to it. Absolutely awed that I scooped this lush lover's lament that left my toes cold and curled in the surf of some lonely beach. Adrian—I know this one was bound for some better-established journal, but I'm glad you gifted it to M7.

Thanks for the love and support, friends. Enjoy Volume 2.




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